Michael E. Tracy (1850 Meath – 1920 New Haven Connecticut) founding member of the Knights of Columbus







Catholic Courier 1991





The Knights of Columbus was established in the City of New Haven, County of New Haven, State of Connecticut, on Feb. 2nd, 1882, and was incorporated by an act of the general assembly of that state on March 29th of the same year.


The Order was established by the Rev. Michael J. McGivney, Daniel Colwell, James T. Mullen, Cornelius T. Driscoll, Dr. M. C. O'Connor, William M. Geary, John Tracy, Michael E. Tracy, John T. Kerrigan, P. H. Cosgrove, Michael Curran, Rev. P. P. Lawler, Patrick Madden, J. T. McMahon and William H. Sellwood.


In the fall of 1881, a local society known as "St. Joseph's Young Men of New Haven," and of which Father McGivney was chaplain desired to join an association of national extent. Father McGivney saw the need of a strong alliance of effort and purpose among Catholicmen. He took up the work with characteristic energy and earnestness.


On January 16, 1882, a meeting to advance the cause was held at 157 Church street, New haven, Conn. Those in attendance were: Rev. M. J. McGivney, James T. Mullen, Daniel Colwell, John Tracy, Michael Tracy, Wm. H. Geary, C. T. Driscoll, J. T. Kerrigan, James T. McMahon and Wm. H. Sellwood. Michael E. Tracy was called upon to preside. The subject of the establishment of a protective fraternal order was fully discussed, the success of other organizations pointed out.



(Archives Knights of Columbus – Michael Tracy’s Minutes, October 2, 1881)

Knights of Columbus Newsletter, Tuolumne Council 2165, Sonora California 95370, Volume II Issue 8 — August 2012

The Knights Of Columbus In Peace And War, Vol. 1

The Knights of Columbus By Daniel Colwell Charter member and Historian of the Order.



Had Been ill For Some Months At Home In Orange.

New Haven, April 29 Michael E. Tracy, one of the eight founders of the national organization of the Knights of Columbus, which was formed in this city 40 years ago, died at his home in Orange at 10:30 last night.

Mr. Tracy, known throughout the state and nation because of his connection with the fraternal organization, had been in ill health for some months, but his death last night suddenly occurred in a period when he appeared to be rallying.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been completed, but services will be held Saturday with a mass in St Mary's church, Derby, and interment in St. Bernard's cemetery. New Haven. The Knights of Columbus will probably assist at the services.

Mr. Tracy is survived by his wife, one son, George M. Tracy of Derby; three daughters, Mrs, Paul B. Kennedy and Mrs. Charles Birely, both of Derby, and Miss Mary Tracy of Orange, and seven grandchildren as well as other relatives. Thomas and Edward Tracy of this city are nephews of Mr. Tracy. Michael E. Tracy was born in Castle Meath, Ireland, Aug. 7, 1850. He came to New Haven when a boy and lived here until 20 years ago, Orange. More than a. score of years ago he conducted two cafes here. He was married to Miss Mary Ann Curran of this city in 1878. Mr. Tracy was a member of St. Mary's church of Derby. He was a Democrat.

Although he had held several public offices in New Haven and Orange during his long residence, Mr. Tracy was best known for his connection with the Knights, of Columbus.

One day in 1882, Tracy, with seven other men including Daniel E. Colwell, met in C. T. Driscoll's little law office in the old Heublein building, then standing at Church and Court streets, and organized the Knights of Columbus. This small body, San Salvador council, No. 1, was for some time the supreme and only body of the now great and powerful K of C.

The death of Tracy leaves only four of the original founders of the organization alive. These, all living here, are William Shellwood, Daniel Colwell, C. T. Driscoll and William Geary. The other organizers, now dead, were John C. Kerrigan, Dr. M. C. O'Connor and the Rev. Francis McGivney, former curate of St. Mary's church here.

Members of Mr. Tracy's family said last night that he presided over the first meeting of the organization ever held and that he was the first grand knight. He had the minutes of the lirst meetings and the only original history of San Salvador council. No. 1, which it was said was donated to him by the council a few "years ago. Although Father McGivney and Mr. Tracy were said to have been largely instrumental in the formation of the Knights of Columbus, Tracy's name, through some circumstance, was left off the list of incorporators.

This matter was brought before the state, legislature in 1917, and a bill passed and signed which stated that Tracy was one of the founders. Tracy has held all of the high state offices of the organisation, officials stated last night, and has seen the Knights of Columbus grow from the original local group of eight to the present national membership of more than 500,000.



20 April 1920 The Farmer.jpg

20 April 1920 The Farmer



Michael Tracy (Oct. 14, 1813-Aug. 3, 1875) & Bridget Tracy (Dec. 4, 1812-Mar. 30, 1888)

Thomas Tracy (Dec. 20, 1843-May 27, 1863) son of Michael & Bridget, died at the Battle of Port Hudson (Civil War) Co. B, 12th Ct. Inf.



1869-1870 Benhams Directory New Haven

Tracy, Edward, carriage smith, bds 23 Jefferson

Tracey, Edward IH., manufaciurer, bds 152 York

Tracey, James, bolt cutter, N. Y. R. R., h 345 Water

Tracey, John, carriage smith, bds 23 Jefferson

Tracey, John, bds 54 Webster

Tracey, Michael, 54 Webster

Tracey, Philip, laborer, h 293 Hamilton

Tracy, Stephen, flour and produce, 303 State, h 265 Orange

Tracy, W. H.. machinist, bds 345 Water

Connecticut Soldiers' Orphan Home...Executive Committee...John Tracy...Auditor...John Tracy...


1870 Census - 1St Ward New Haven, Connecticut

Michael Tracy             M         58        Ireland, labourer

Bridget Tracy F          57        Ireland

John Tracy                   M         26        Ireland, moulder

Mary Tracy                  F          19        Ireland

Michael Tracy             M         20        Ireland

Bridget Tracy F          11        Connecticut


1880 Census - New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut

Bridget Tracy Self      F          68        Ireland, widowed

Michael E Tracy          Son      M         28        Connecticut, United States, brass moulder

Loretta Tracy Daughter         F          18        Connecticut, United States


1880 Census - New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut

John Tracey                 Self                  M         42        Ireland, brass moulder

Catharine Tracey         Wife                F          30        Ireland

Mary Tracey                Daughter         F          7          Connecticut, United States

Thomas Tracey            Son                  M         5          Connecticut, United States

Rosanna Tracey           Daughter         F          3          Connecticut, United States


Michael Tracy & Mary A. Curran

Ellen Loretta Tracy b. 18 Oct 1892 New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut


November 30 1888 New Haven Register

Michael E Tracy an active young democrat has received the nomination for city sheriff...[lost 5 Dec 1888]


April 29, 1899 The Daily morning journal and courier (New Haven Conn)

The following foreclosures were granted by Judge Robinson: Dennis Keane vs.- Michael E. Tracy, property In this city on the amount of $3,687.33; time for redemption, April 18.


November 26, 1895 The Daily morning journal and courier (New Haven Conn)

...Ninth Ward...Town...City...Michael E Tracy...


December 25, 1895 The Daily morning journal and courier (New Haven Conn)

To the Board of County Commissioners for New Haven County:

I hereby apply for a license to sell Spirituous and Intoxicating Liquors, Ale, Lager Beer, Rhine Wine, and Cider at 607 East street. Town of New Haven. My place of business is not located within 200 feet In a direct line of a Church Edifice or Public School-house, or the premises pertaining thereto or any Post Office or Public Library.

MICHAEL E. TRACY, Applicant.

We, the undersigned, electors and taxpayers, as defined by law, of the Town ot New Haven, hereby endorse the application of the above named for such license.

Dated at New Haven, this 19th day of December, A. D., 1R95. Frank Chandler, Edward J. Carey, Michael Relley, Michael Roche, John Tracy.


October 02, 1900 The Daily morning journal and courier (New Haven Conn)

Orange...Register of voters...dem...second district, Michael E Tracey.


1900 Census - New Haven city Ward 9, New Haven, Connecticut

John Tracy                   Head               M         63        Ireland, emigrated 1852 na, iron moulder

Catherine Tracy           Wife                F          48        Ireland, married 28 years, 7 childrenn 4 alive, emgrated 1861

Tomas J Tracy             Son                  M         26        Connecticut, machinist

Rosanna Tracy            Daughter         F          24        Connecticut, box maker

Ella Tracy        Daughter                     F          19        Connecticut

Edward M Tracy         Son                  M         16        Connecticut

Frank Merriman          Boarder           M         53        Connecticut, painter


1900 Census - Orange township (excl. West Haven borough), New Haven, Connecticut

Michael Tracy             Head               M         43        b. Aug 1857 Connecticut, farmer

Mary Tracy                  Wife                F          41        b. May 1839 Massachusetts, married 21 years, 4 children alive

George Tracy Son                  M         21        b. Apr 1879 Connecticut, labourer friend? shop

Ellen Tracy                  Daughter         F          8          b. Oct 1892 Connecticut

Mary Tracy                  Daughter         F          1          b. Nov 1899 Connecticut

Thomas Mc Kiernan Cousin   M         43        Connecticut

Alexander Brooks       Servant            M         63        Connecticut


1904 Register and manual of the state of Connecticut

The following is a list of the qualified Justices of the Peace elected November 4, 1902...New Haven, New Haven County...John T. Tracy...TOWN OFFICERS...Orange...(West Haven)...Reg. of Voters, 1st dist...Michael E. Tracey...


1910 Census - New Haven Ward 9, New Haven, Connecticut

John Tracy                   Head   M         71        Ireland, emigrated 1852 na, teamstert odd jobs

Catherine J Tracy        Wife    F          58        Ireland, 38 years married, 7 children 4 alive, emigrated 1861

Rose L Tracy               Daughter         F          29        Connecticut, saleswoamn florist store

Edward N Tracy         Son      M         26        Connecticut, Florist own store

Ella K Tracy                Daughter         F          24        Connecticut, artist


1910 Census - New Haven Ward 9, New Haven, Connecticut

Thomas J Tracy,          head, M, 35, Married, Connecticut, father & mother born Ireland, Policeman city,

Anna H Tracy,            wife, F, 35, Connecticut, 8 years married, 0 Children,


1910 Census - Orange, New Haven, Connecticut

Micheal E Tracy          Head   M         59        Ireland, cigar store keeper, na emmigrated 1881 or 1886,

Mary A Tracy Wife    F          50        Massachusetts, married 32 years, 4 children alive

Ella L Tracy                Daughter         F          17        Connecticut

Mary E Tracy Daughter         F          10        Connecticut

Thomas Mckiernan      Boarder           M         53        Connecticut

John Thorjeck Boarder           M         36        Russia


1917 Draft

George Michael Tracy, b. 22 Apr 1879, 39 yearsm, lives 15 Maple Ave Derby New Haven Conn, merchant 9 Main St Derby New Haven Conn, nearest relative Mrs Margaret Tracy 15 Maple ave, medium height stout build brown eyes, brown hair.


1917 Special Acts & Resolves Connecticut

Michael E. Tracey and William H. Sellwood, and all such persons as may from time to time be associated with them, with their successors, are constituted a body corporate and politic by the name of the Knights of Columbus of New Haven for the purpose of rendering mutual aid and assistance to the members of said socities and their families...


1915 Report of the Board of Education

...Michael E Tracy A V...Orange...


Michael E. Tracy died 1920 New Haven, Connecticut born 1850


1920 Census - New Haven Ward 9, New Haven, Connecticut

Catherine Tracy           Head   F          69        Ireland, widow, emigrated 1855 na,

Ella K Tracy                Daughter         F          30        Connecticut


1920 Census - New Haven Ward 9, New Haven, Connecticut

Thomas J Tracy           Head   M         45        Connecticut, driver police dept

Anna H Tracy             Wife    F          41        Connecticut


1920 Census - New Haven Ward 9, New Haven, Connecticut,

Edward Tracy             Head   M         36        Connecticut, Ass Superintendant City Park Dept

Helen Tracy                 Wife    F          27        Connecticut

Edward Tracy             Son      M         8          Connecticut

Helen Tracy                 Daughter         F          7          Connecticut

Thomas Tracy Son      M         6          Connecticut

Catherine Tracy           Daughter         F          3          Connecticut


1920  Census - 15 Maple Ave, Derby Ward 2, New Haven, Connecticut

George Tracy Head   M         40        Connecticut, father b. Ireland Mother b. Connecticut, Manager Cigar Store

Margarette Tracy         Wife    F          37        Connecticut, father & mother b. Ireland

George Tracy Son      M         14        Connecticut

John Tracy                   Son      M         12        Connecticut

Pauline Tracy Daughter         F          4          Connecticut

Margarette Tracy         Daughter         F          1          Connecticut


Mary A. Curran died 1929, spouse M.E. Tracy


March 7, 1929 The Palm Beach Post (Florida)

Mrs. Loretta T. Savage. Mrs. Loretto Tracy Savage, 64, pioneer resident of West Palm Beach, died early Wednesday at her residence, Haverhill road, after a short illness. Mrs. Savage was born in New Haven, Conn., July 20, 1861. She spent the last 39 years of her life in Florida, coming to this city 28 years ago. Mrs. Savage was a sister of the late John Francis Tracy and Michael E. Tracy, founders of the Knights of Columbus. Surviving are her husband. Henry P. Savage; two daughters, Mrs. Claude Wood, of Indianapolis, and Mrs. J. A. Bowery, of this city; and two sons, Tracy L. Savage and John W. Savage also of West Palm Beach.


1930 Census - New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut

Edward M Tracy         Head   M         46        Connecticut, Divorced, Father & Moth b. Northern Ireland, gardener private family? ???

Ella J Tracy                 Sister   F          47        Connecticut, Father & Moth b. Northern Ireland,

Edward J Tracy           Son      M         19        Connecticut, clerk dry goods [crossed out]

Thomas J Tracy           Son      M         16        Connecticut


1930 Census - Election District 5, Anne Arundel, Maryland

George Tracy Head   M         50        Connecticut, father born Ireland mother born Massachusetts, Salesman Boas C

Margaret Tracy            Wife    F          47        Connecticut

Margaret Tracy            Daughter         F          11        Connecticut

Julia Tracy                   Daughter         F          9          Connecticut

Elinor Tracy                Daughter         F          7          Connecticut

William Tracy Son      M         5          New Jersey

Basil Tracy                  Son      M         0          New Jersey


1940 Census - Ward 2, Derby, Derby Town, New Haven, Connecticut

Paul B Kennedy          Head   M         68        Connecticut, medical doctor private practice

Elizabeth T Kennedy Wife    F          59        Connecticut

Paul B Kennedy          Son      M         33        Connecticut, automobile salesman retail auto agency

Mary L Tracy Sister-in-law    F          40        Connecticut, single, treacher grade school

George M Tracy          Brother-in-law             M         61        Connecticut, divorced


1940 Census - Denton, Election District 3, Caroline, Maryland

Margaret Tracy            Head   F          57        Connecticut, married [crossed out]

Julia Tracy                   Daughter         F          19        Connecticut, button sorter button factory

Elinor Tracy                Daughter         F          17        Connecticut

William Tracy Son      M         15        New Jersey

Basil Tracy                  Son      M         10        New Jersey


1942 Draft

George Michael Tracy, b. 22 Apr 1879 New Haven,  63 years, lives 314 Elizabeth St Derby Connecticut, Contact Mrs Elizabeth Kennedy, traveller for Publishers Guild Inc NY


Georg M Tracy died 30 Apr 1953 New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut

Age     74

Marital Status Married

Birth Year (Estimated)           1879

Spouse's Name            MARG




Hobe Sound, FL
MAY 4, 2009


William Tracy, 71, of Hobe Sound, FL, passed away May 4, 2009 at Hospice House in Stuart, FL.
Born in Perth Amboy, NJ, he moved to this area 14 years ago, coming from Boca Raton, FL.
He worked in management with IBM Corp. for 30 years and served on the board of directors of the IBM Southeast Employees Federal Credit Union for 30 years, in that time holding the position of treasurer. He was a member of St. Christopher Catholic Church in Hobe Sound.
Bill's great-grandfather, Michael E. Tracy, was one of the original founders of the Knights of Columbus with Father Michael McGivney in New Haven, CT in 1882.
He served in the Air Force as a machinist, working on airplanes.
Mr. Tracy loved ocean fishing and hunting elk in Colorado.
Survivors include his wife, Lillian Tracy of Hobe Sound; children, Dale Tracy of Wendell, NC, Dawn Masbruch of Madison, WI, Lynn Powell of Wellington, FL, Jan Ivey of Raleigh, NC and Scott DeSilva of Wesley Chapel, FL; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his son, Dean Tracy, in 1980.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 9, at St. Christopher Catholic Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Treasure Coast Hospices, 1201 SE Indian St., Stuart, FL 34997.
Arrangements are entrusted to Martin Funeral Home & Crematory, 961 S. Kanner Hwy., Stuart, FL.




Last update: 28 September 2016